Mobile phone survives a 40 mile underwater journey

By Jo Scrivin in Local People

Everyone knows someone whose mobile phone has stopped working after they dropped it, and if the fall involves water the phone is usually a write off. But one Ross resident has a phone which has survived more than most, including a 40 mile journey under water.

In August, Jane Symonds, who lives in Ross-on-Wye was canoeing from Ross to Symonds Yat with a group of friends. Just before the bridge at Lydbrook the canoe Jane was in capsized and everything in the canoe got wet.

They transferred everything into their friend’s canoe and carried on their journey. Unfortunately, a little later at Lydbrook, while Jane went on ahead, her friend’s canoe also capsized. They lost everything from the canoe: wallets, clothing and Jane’s mobile phone.

They all met up at the Royal in Ross later that evening and that was the first time Jane realised her phone had been lost.

The next day she walked along the river bank at Lydbrook to see if the bag had been washed up on the shore.

Time passed and Jane accepted that it was lost for ever. Then, last week when she returned from a holiday in Portugal she told the Ross Gazette she had the surprise of her life.

A gentleman had contacted her parents to get her contact details. The man, Richard Altwasser had been looking for shells on the beach at Portishead with his granddaughter, Elinor, when they found a phone.

They took it home and left it to dry out. To their amazement when they charged it, it was still working and Mr Altwasser contacted ‘mum and dad’ as listed in the phone.

His wife offered to bring the phone to Ross-on-Wye to give to Jane, as she has a cousin who lives in Ross, and, in another amazing twist, Jane actually knows her.

Although the Samsung looks a little the worse for its treatment in a river, it is incredible that it had been on a journey along the River Wye at Lydbrook into the Severn Estuary, into the Bristol Channel to end up at a seaside town.

Elinor has told her school about the well travelled phone, and its incredible journey has led to some project work on currents.

Jane told the Gazette that she was thrilled to get it back, although she is worried about using it as the battery is probably damaged. It contained phone numbers and pictures which she thought she may never get back.

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